The Vauxhall UK National Teams Photographer of the Year award for 2017 has been won by Northern Ireland’s Jonathan Porter of Press Eye.

Jonathan’s picture-perfect portfolio of the last calendar year captured many of the highlights from Northern Ireland’s Russia 2018 qualifying campaign, which saw Michael O’Neill’s men fall at the final hurdle in a hotly-debated play-off defeat by Switzerland.

Cheryl Stibbs, Sponsorship Marketing Manager, said: “The Vauxhall UK National Teams Photographer of the Year Awards are now in their seventh year and the volume and standard of entries goes from strength to strength.

“Northern Ireland came so close to qualifying for a second successive major tournament and Jonathan’s portfolio captures the passion and emotion of the players and fans alike.

“Judging the overall winner proved incredibly tough for our expert panel due to the exceptional quality of the images submitted, but Jonathan was our unanimous choice for the top award.”

By winning the overall prize, Jonathan also naturally scooped the Northern Ireland Photographer of the Year award.

Thomson Reuters’ Carl Recine, overall winner for the past two years, was again among the awards, this time scooping the England Photographer of the Year prize. His portfolio included eye-catching action from both the senior men’s and women’s matches, plus a poignant photo of Jermain Defoe with brave Bradley Lowery, who was mascot for the Lithuania game at Wembley last March.

The other England winners included AFP’s Adrian Dennis, who won Best Individual Photograph for his stunning picture of Gary Cahill getting ahead of a statuesque Slovenia defence at Wembley in October, plus Lee Smith, of Action Images/Reuters, who came first in the Best Inspirational #GetIN Photograph section for his image of Harry Kane’s goal celebration against France in Paris in June.

Daniel Chesterton, from PHC Images, earned the Northern Ireland Best Individual Photograph vote for his superb through-the-net shot of the team celebrating Jonny Evans’ crucial goal against the Czech Republic in Belfast last September.

Another Press Eye photographer, William Cherry, also won the Northern Ireland Best Inspirational #GetIN Photograph award for an image from the same game, this time featuring manager Michael O’Neill celebrating with his players at the final whistle.

SNS’s William Murray was a double winner in the Scotland category, scooping the Best Individual Photograph and the Best Inspirational #GetIN Photograph honours for two different takes on Leigh Griffiths’ emotive goal celebrations against England at Hampden Park last June.

Freelancer Ian MacNicol was named the Scotland Photographer of the Year for his portfolio of images from the nation’s 2017 campaign, with his two separate shots of Gordon Strachan and Ikechi Anya enjoying light-hearted moments really catching the eye.

Getty Images’ Stu Forster was named Wales Photographer of the Year for his all-encompassing range of snaps from the senior men’s team’s training sessions and matches, including a stand-out silhouette of the coaching staff.

Gareth Everett, of Huw Evans Picture Agency, secured the Wales Best Individual Photograph award for brilliantly capturing Gareth Bale’s utter despair at an incident in the Austria match in Cardiff last September. Offside’s Simon Stacpoole emerged victorious in the Wales Best Inspirational #GetIN Photograph category for another Bale shot, this time of the Welsh legend celebrating with Ben Woodburn.

Vauxhall UK National Teams Photographer of the Year & Vauxhall Northern Ireland Photographer of the Year 2017 

Jonathan Porter – Press Eye 

Photographer of the Year

  • England – Carl Recine, Thomson Reuters
  • Scotland – Ian MacNicol, Freelance
  • Wales – Stu Forster, Getty Images

Best Individual Photograph of the Year

  • England – Adrian Dennis, AFP
  • Northern Ireland – Daniel Chesterton, PHC Images
  • Scotland – William Murray, SNS
  • Wales – Gareth Everett, Huw Evans Picture Agency

Inspirational #GetIN Photograph for 2017

  • England – Lee Smith, Action Images/Reuters
  • Northern Ireland – William Cherry, Press Eye
  • Scotland – William Murray, SNS
  • Wales – Simon Stacpoole, Offside